Thanks to readers, the Discreet Diner this year sampled kartoffelpuffer in Wrightstown, samosa in Turnersville, and penne rustico in Voorhees.
When an e-mail begins, "Recently my husband and I had dinner at this excellent restaurant in . . .," the Discreet Diner grabs a deputy and hits the road. Readers know restaurants. Your suggestions led the DD to places like Sebastian's Schnitzelhaus, Cinderella Sabbaba and Pasta Pomodoro, as well as seafood and Asian restaurants she never would have found on her own.
Word of mouth may be the best way to find a new dining spot. Please keep those recommendations coming.
The Discreet Diner endeavors to experience the range of South Jersey restaurants, from pizza and hoagie shops, to national chains, to ethnic restaurants, to elegant dining rooms. Who has the best crabcake? Who serves authentic curry? Where can a tired family get a quick, good meal? The Discreet Diner does the footwork for you.
What follows is a list of the restaurants we visited in 2007, arranged alphabetically by county. Full reviews are searchable online at www.philly.com.
Clearly, you don't have to cross the Delaware River to have a great meal.
The Discreet Diner is a member of The Inquirer staff and welcomes your comments. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Burlington County
Cafe Gallery, 219 High St, Burlington. 609-386-6150. Relaxing French dining with a view of the Delaware River.
Carlucci's Waterfront, 876 Centerton Rd, Mount Laurel. 856-235-5737. A pleasant meal, nicely presented on the Rancocas Creek waterfront.
Carrabba's Italian Grill, 500 Rte 38 E, Maple Shade. 856-235-5525. Portions large enough for two meals.
Europa Cafe, 708 Burlington Ave, Delanco. 856-824-1151. It's worth crossing the Rancocas Creek for this quaint cuisine.
Gagan Bistro, 150 Rte 73 N, Marlton. 856-988-8751. Savory Indian cuisine from the buffet or off the menu.
Joe's Peking Duck House, 145 Rte 73 S, Marlton Crossing Shopping Center, Marlton. 856-985-1551. Jumbo-sized Phoenix roll and yummy Singapore noodles.
Orchid Asian Fusion, 3025 Rte 130 S, Delran. 856-764-3636. Chinese, Japanese, Thai all on one menu.
Pasta Vino, 124 N Kings Hwy, Maple Shade. 856-727-1001. The Burlington County branch of the Aldo Lamberti family.
Pavilion Barbecue, 112 S Pavilion Ave, Riverside. 856-824-9600. Not fancy, but everything is delicious.
Piggy Joe's, 401 Rte 38 (Kmart Shopping Center), Moorestown. 856-222-9922. Tender and juicy pork, eat in or take out.
Redstone American Grill, 500 Rte 73 S, Marlton. 856-396-0332. Specializes in rotisserie dishes, chicken to ribs. (And check out the TV in the men's room.)
Robin's Nest, 2-4 Washington St, Mount Holly. 609-261-6149. Yield to temptation: Indulge in dessert.
Sebastian's Schnitzelhaus, 43 Fort Dix St, Wrightstown. 609-724-9609. German cuisine. Wunderbar!
Thai Taste, 147 Rte 73 S, Marlton Crossing Plaza, Marlton. 856-985-5300. Authentic green and red curry.
Ted's on Main, 20 S Main St, Medford. 856-654-7011. Eclectic menu in a New Orleans-style dining room.
Tony's Seafood Cafe, 517 Howard St, Riverton. 856-303- 8400. Mariner's feel in an old Victorian setting.
White House, Camden and Lenola Rds, Moorestown. 856-235-4825. A neighborhood favorite with excellent service.
Camden CountyBig John's Cheesesteak & More, 1800 E Rte 70, Cherry Hill. 856-424-1186. Never fails to satisfy.
Brio Tuscan Grille, 901 Haddonfield Rd, Cherry Hill. 856-910-8166. Flatbreads from a wood-burning oven.
The Collins House, 2 S Centre St, Merchantville. 856-661-8008. Fine cuisine with an inviting ambience. Wonderful for special occasions.
Duo Italian Bistro, 146 Kings Hwy Et, Haddonfield. 856-216-0464. Extensive menu offering contemporary Italian cuisine.
Elements Cafe, 517 Station Ave, Haddon Heights. 856-546-8840. Affordable samplers and tapas.
Emerald Fish, 65 Barclay Farms Shopping Center, Cherry Hill. 856-616-9192. Eclectic seafood created with enormous care.
Kunkel's Seafood & Steakhouse, 920 Kings Hwy, Haddon Heights. 856-547-1225. Feels like home.
Kuzina by Sofia, 404 Rte 70 W, Cherry Hill. 856-429-1061. Classic and modern Greek.
Joe Palombo's Mirabella Cafe, 210 E Rte 70, Barclay Farms Shopping Center, Cherry Hill, 856-354-1888. Ample, but not overwhelming, portions.
The Lobster Trap, 5300 N Park Dr, Cooper River Park, Pennsauken. 856-663-3537. Try the delicious Caesar salad; sit out on the deck.
Mexican Food Factory, 601 Rte 70 Wt, Cherry Hill. 856-983-9222. Lives up to its 30-year reputation.
Onasis Estiatorion, 800 Haddonfield Rd, Cherry Hill. 856-488-5888. Traditional Greek favorites.
Pasta Pomodoro, 700 Route 561, Eagle Plaza, Voorhees. 856-782-7430. A menu with a lot to offer.
Steak & Ale, 1800 Frontage Rd, Cherry Hill. 856-429-3322. When you're in the mood for red meat ....
Tavola Dei Amici, 1603 N Kings Hwy, Ellisburg Shopping Center, Cherry Hill. 856-616-1600. Italian specialities; wonderful casual-dining experience.
The Victor's Pub, 1 Market St, Camden Waterfront. 856-235-0600. Upscale bar fare with a great view of Philadelphia.
Villa Barone, 753 Haddon Ave, Collingswood. 856-858-2999. A winner that predated the town's renaissance.
Water Lily, 653 Haddon Ave, Collingswood. 856-833-0098. French-Asian bistro.
Gloucester CountyBaby Luna, 713 Delsea Dr, Westville. 856-742-1497. Pasta like grandmother used to make.
Barnsboro Inn, 699 Main St, Sewell. 856-468-3557. Casual dining - with a flair.
Blueplate, 47 S Main St, Mullica Hill. 856-478-2112. Good for casual lunch or white-tablecloth dinner.
Botto's Italian Line, 1409 and 1411 Kings Hwy, Swedesboro. 856-467-1570. Prides itself on its service.
Cinderella Sabbaba, 4860 Rte 42 N, Turnersville. 856-227-6537. Middle Eastern/Indian. A delightful ethnic addition to the area.
The Creole Cafe, 288 Egg Harbor Rd., Sewell. 856-582-7222. The feeling and food of the French Quarter.
Fat Jack's BBQ, 415 Egg Harbor Rd, Acme Shopping Center, Washington Township. 856-218-7427. Delicious ribs and chicken to eat in or take out.
Max's Seafood Cafe, Burlington and Hudson Sts, Gloucester City. 856-456-9774. Renovated and reopened in 2001, it's a destination again, known for seafood, hospitality and homemade desserts.
Mount Fuji Japanese Restaurant Sushi Bar & Grill, 1450 Clements Bridge Rd (Route 544), Unit 3, Deptford. 856-845-8835. Entrees served with salad, miso soup, rice, four-piece California roll and spring roll.
Ninety-Nine, 1440 Almonesson Rd, Deptford. 856-251-0099. Casual chain offering lots of fish and chicken and TV to watch sports.
The Pelican Fish Co., 508 Hurffville-Cross Keys Rd, Sewell, 856-589-6969. You could just come for the desserts.
Taste of Saigon, 279-A Egg Harbor Rd, New Market Place, Washington Township. Fresh ingredients, friendly service, really good cooking.
Toscana Pizzeria & Grill, 141 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill. 856-478-2288. Italian countryside decor, homemade desserts.
The ShoreMildred's Strathmere Restaurant, 901 Ocean Dr, Strathmere. 609-263-8209. A family-owned institution since 1952. Generous portions, no-frills meals.
Octopus's Garden - Mayetta's Fish House, Rte 9, Mayetta. 609-597-8828. Healthy cuisine that doesn't taste like it.